Saturday, February 25, 2012

"You've got red on you..."

Holy crimson covers, Batman! There seems to be a certain trend for 2012:


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Not only have The Decemberists contributed a song to the Hunger Games Soundtrack.... Neko Case has done two!! Squee!

If you pre-order the album on iTunes, you can listen to "One Engine," The Decemberists' single immediately. Here are the other tracks:

1.  Arcade Fire “Abraham’s Daughter”
2.  The Secret Sisters “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder”
3.  Neko Case “Nothing To Remember”
4.  Taylor Swift “Safe & Sound ft. The Civil Wars”
5.  Kid Cudi “The Ruler and The Killer”
6.  Punch Brothers “Dark Days”
7.  The Decemberists “One Engine”
8.  The Carolina Chocolate Drops “Daughter’s Lament”
9.  The Civil Wars “Kingdom Come”
10.  Glen Hansard “Take The Heartland”
11.  Maroon 5 ft. Rozzi Crane “Come Away To The Water”
12.  Miranda Lambert “Run Daddy Run ft. Pistol Annies”
13.  Jayme Dee “Rules”
14.  Taylor Swift “Eyes Open”
15.  The Low Anthem “Lover Is Childlike”
16.  Birdy “Just A Game”

March 23. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Before I Fall

Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver

What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.
The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death--and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing. -Plot summary borrowed from Goodreads

Here are two things you should know: 1) I don't read realistic fiction. 2) I hate, hate, hate stories (in book form, TV shows, movies) that show the same events over and over from various perspectives, or in a "what if this one teensys detail had changed?" sorts of ways.

Having gotten those out of the way, I can tell you that even though this book was both of those, I LOVED it. I can't honestly say why it was so gripping. I mean, if you broke it down, probably 30% of this pretty long book consists of a fairly bitchy girl drinking coffee in an SUV with her fairly bitchy friends. And most of the rest of it is her taking high school classes, not quite fighting with her boyfriend, and attending the same drunken party. On paper, what's to like?

As it turns out, lots. It's a fantastic character study, a really honest look at teenage life that rings entirely true (at least to someone who left high school a few years ago). In a completely non-preachy/judgemental way, this book finds ways to discuss popularity, cliques, social pressures, growing up, identity, friendship, relationships.... I could go on and on, but that would probably make the book seem much duller than it is.

In any case, Samantha's journey is, at various times, frustrating, funny, heartbreaking, romantic, terrifying and triumphant. If you were a popular kid, a geek, or even an "average" kid in high school, this book will stick with you for a long time.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Zombies Vs. Unicorns

Zombies Vs. Unicorns, Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (Editors)

It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn -Plot summary borrowed from Goodreads

Great Googly Moogly was this a fun read! Even before you get to the excellent stories written by some perfectly chosen authors, you get a lot of fun banter between the editors. You can tell that everyone involved had a blast compiling this anthology which makes reading and choosing a side (if you haven't already) all the better. Before each chapter, which alternate between Team Unicorn and Team Zombie, the editors sing the praises of their own chosen Being, sling snark at the other side, and generally add to the fun.

When I picked this up I figured I was a staunch member of Team Unicorn. Unicorns are powerful, mysterious, magical, and well, pretty. Zombies are dangerous, shuffling, rabid, bitey, and constantly dropping their bits. Eww.

BUT. As much as I enjoyed the unicorn stories, it was the zombie ones that got under my skin, made me think, and are kind of unforgettable. So I'm left undecided as to which team I am on, which is kind of great.

Which side will YOU choose?

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Michelle Hodkin
When this book was recommended to me, I was told that the less I knew about it, the better. So I won't be adding any tags, or telling you what I thought of various characters, the plot, setting, etc etc. I'm not even posting a summary. All I will say is that if you like most of the books I post on this blog, you will probably really, really enjoy this mysterious book.